Reuben Brown Trio: Ice Scape

Nearly every urban community is blessed with one or more jazz treasures who chose to stay at home. Piano-wise, in D.C. one of those has long been pianist Reuben Brown, whose roll has been slowed by illness in recent years. At places like One Step Down, Brown has eased the fears of many a traveling soloist dealt the often iffy “local rhythm section” card. Thankfully in 1994 Nils Winther of SteepleChase took some time to chronicle Brown’s marvelous, swinging and soulful touch at the piano.

Assisted by masters Rufus Reid on bass and homeboy Billy Hart on drums, Brown brings his classic touch to the world. Among the highlights of this date are his unusual, hushed treatment of “Mack The Knife,” given new life courtesy of Reuben’s arrangement. Other standards include “A Night In Tunisia” and a gorgeous solo “Lush Life.” Otherwise Brown displays his keen compositional skills on the remaining seven tracks.